Gov’t to crackdown on rogue millers hoarding maize flour

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Following complaints from Kenyans over a shortage of the subsidy maize flour retailing at 100 shillings, the government has moved in to resolve the crisis,

In a meeting with millers, Acting Crops Development Principal Secretary Francis Owino decried the shortage, attributing it to the delayed payment for the maize flour supplied, contractual agreement between millers and supermarkets and hoarding of the commodity by a few millers.

“Our millers are not able to supply the supermarkets because of the 45 days contractual arrangement, our plea is for the two parties to reflect and consider that contractual agreement to align with the commitment of government of even to bring it lower to either three or five days,” Francis Owino, the Acting Principal Secretary, Crops Development said on Monday.

Owino assured the millers that the government is committed to making payments for commodity supplied within 24 hours as 8 billion shillings has been set aside to ensure Kenyans are cushioned.

“We have set a standard to ensure that the turn around time for payment of all invoices received are initiated immediately and done within 24 hours this is a standard we commit to uphold and maintain,” Owino added.

The millers welcomed the decision by the government to pay for the supplies in time with a promise to ensure a steady supply.

 “As the PS has assured us that the payment is within 24 hours, two of our members were paid yesterday and Friday millers will roll out and there will be enough flour in the market, tutakuwa na unga mingi mpaka wananchi watashangaa,” Kipngetich Mutai, the Chairperson, Grain Belt Millers and Farmers Association said.

128 millers were contracted to ensure the success of the four weeks subsidy maize flour program .

The millers have so far supplied over 3.4 million kilograms of maize flour with the 2kg bales being the most produced since the commencement of the program.

So far the government has paid half of the over 325 million shillings owed to the suppliers who have honoured their pledge to sell at the recommended price . 

 “I note with concern that some retailers who have received the program stocks are selling above recommended price allegedly to recover the transport price I wish to reiterate that the prescribed price is 100 and all retailers must abide by this,” Owino added.

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